Meteor 16 TGS starting issues

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cacaolat
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Meteor 16 TGS starting issues

Post by cacaolat » Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:58 pm

After not using it for 5 days I started my car this morning. All seemed fine. After a very short journey I parked it and wanted to drive off again a few minutes later. It seemed like the battery was nearly dead. there were just a couple of very slow turns of the starter motor. This seems strange as both the battery and the starter motor are just around 6 months old.
I persisted with turning the ignition and then eventually the starter motor picks up speed again and the car starts. It happened another 2 times today. what could it be ?
former BX 16 TGS Meteor Auto owner. No space or time to do own repairs. My BX is now owned by another member of this forum.

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cavmad
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Post by cavmad » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:24 pm

Timing out slightly perhaps?
Vauxhall apologist.

tim leech

Post by tim leech » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:16 pm

Hmm sounds like a duff battery to me.

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cacaolat
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Post by cacaolat » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:51 pm

mmmhh the timining out sounds like something for a garage to check out.....but a duff battery !? do you think it is faulty ?...It is from the exide brand and I paid 63 quid for it at (fraudulent) Kwik Fit....must check if there was a warranty on it....
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Post by jeremy » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:06 pm

Probably worth buying a cheap multimeter and checking the battery voltage. They're available all over the place like Maplins for about £5 and while you won't use it very often it'll be very handy at times.

After standing all night a good battery should show 12.6 volts, average 12.5 and weak 12.4.

Engine running - 14 - 14.4 volts.

No meter - put the headlights on and try starting the engine - they should dim but a bit only. Dim a lot - weak or discharged battery.

Does the warning light ever come on with the engine running? - if so - probably alternator failure. (Regulator and you'll probably find the voltage is about 10 volts.)

Another sign of low battery voltage is slow motors - like wipers - and the flashers for that matter and generally feeble electrics.

If the battery voltage and condition seems OK - check the battery terminals. Take them off and clean the contact faces. (Do they feel hot after starting or trying to? Can you hear any noise when the starter is operated, (fizz or pops?))

Check the engine earth and its strap. Check the black plug in the positive battery lead near the battery tray. This is a favorite and responds well to cleaning. Is the terminal of the main supply lead to the starter clean?

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cacaolat
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Post by cacaolat » Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:58 pm

...well I think it really is time to buy a cheap multimeter, until now I did not really know what to do with it...thanks
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Post by jeremy » Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:45 pm

You can use a meter for checking the quality of a number of connections at one go. Set it to about 5 volts and connect it between the battery negative terminal and the engine block. Operate the starter and look at the reading - if you get more than about 1/4 volt - there's a resistance somewhere. Same can be done for the alternator output, headlamps etc.

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:57 pm

Sounds like the earth, mine did the same. If it does it every time, try hooking up a jump lead from the negative terminal to the engine, and one from the engine to the body so that everything has a good earth. If it sorts the problem, buy a pair of new earthing straps.

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update

Post by cacaolat » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:30 pm

:( for days I was starting my car....the first few seconds the battery seems dead but then it picks up.....the suggestion of the earth seems to be the right direction....today it seemed completely dead...then I saw smoke coming from under the bonnet.....The earth cable was melting away. The breakdown service came round and the guy put insulating tape around the earth cable...he fiddled a bit with the neutral battery connection (hit it with a hammer !!) :? then he measured the voltage...it was about 13.7 which seemed fine....the car started again......what could cause the earth cable to melt ? the lead negative battery connector was rather loose but the bolt was competely closed....
former BX 16 TGS Meteor Auto owner. No space or time to do own repairs. My BX is now owned by another member of this forum.

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Post by jeremy » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:06 am

The battery terminal has stretched through being overtightened. The negative is the earth cable so you should easily be able to buy a new cable with a battery terminal on one end and a tag for connecting to the earth point on the other end. Make sure the terminal on the battery and the earth point on the body/engine is really clean.

The battery will supply a huge current for starting (600 amps dropping to about 100 when the engine is being cranked fast) The slower its cranked the lower the back emf (electro motive force) being produced by the starter and so the higher the current. (basically it functions as a generator at the same time which reduces the current it uses).

You will see that good connections are vital for proper starter function.